Hillary Clinton takes aim at Donald Trump while barely mentioning Bernie Sanders at Louisville rally

05/10/2016 09:01 PM

LOUISVILLE — The war of words between Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump continued on Tuesday as Clinton called her likely opponent in this fall’s election “reckless” during a campaign rally at Slugger Field.

More than 1,000 supporters crowded the baseball stadium’s concourse as Clinton took Trump to task for remarks he’s made on the campaign trail on topics ranging from anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. exiting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Clinton said she looked forward to debating Trump in the fall if she wins the Democratic nomination.

“The highest obligation of a president is to protect America,” she said. “I take that as a solemn obligation, and it’s why I’ve been so concerned about the reckless talk coming from Donald Trump. I have to tell you, it’s a long list now that he just sort of throws things out, and people say, ‘Well, maybe he doesn’t really mean it.’ When you are running for and serving as president, you better mean what you say.”

Clinton also alluded to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in her half-hour stump speech, but she only mentioned her opponent in the Democratic primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, just once in contrasting her plan for affordable higher education with his call for free tuition at public institutions.

Sanders is the projected winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary in West Virginia and is readying a small push on Kentucky’s airwaves ahead of the state’s May 17 primary, according to Federal Communications Commission filings. Available FCC records show he has spent $17,925 in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green and Hazard broadcast markets this week.

Clinton, too, has secured airtime in Kentucky media markets, but on a much larger scale.

News reports indicated that Clinton reserved roughly $175,000 in ad time in Kentucky this week, and FCC records show her campaign’s buys at single stations — $37,345 in air time from WLKY-TV, for instance — outpace Sanders’ total push. Her ads are slated to run in the Louisville and Lexington broadcast markets, according to FCC records.

She needs just 155 delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination. Before Tuesday’s primary results, she led Sanders by 775 delegates, including 484 among the party’s superdelegates.

Despite walking the comments back, Clinton has drawn fire for saying in March that her administration would put coal companies and miners out of work, potentially detrimental for her prospects in Appalachia.

She briefly touched on the topic of climate change, but not coal mining in particular, in her stump speech. Clinton said she hoped the U.S. will become “the 21st century superpower when it comes to clean, renewable energy.”

“We’re not going to combat (climate change) by denying it,” she said before pivoting to an apparent jab at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I love it when the Republicans are asked, ‘So what do you think about climate change?’ and they all say something like, ‘Well, I don’t know. I’m not a scientist,’ and I’ve been saying for months now well go talk to a scientist.

“You can go to the University of Louisville. You can go to the University of Kentucky. There are a lot of scientists there who will explain it to you.”

Clinton also touched on policy points, such as her call to cap child-care costs at 10 percent of family incomes that she introduced earlier Tuesday in Lexington.

She also said she expects a barrage of attacks, “including the kitchen sink,” from Republicans as she continues her bid for the White House.

“I have a little message for them,” Clinton said. “They’ve done it for 25 years, and I’m still standing.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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